Le Soleal – Emblematic Antartica

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Please Note: Our website packages are here to provide you with a guide on what we can offer. If this package does not suit your requirements we can easily cutomise your trip to suit your needs and preferences.

OVERVIEW

Ponant invites you on a polar expedition cruise to the heart of the icy realm that is the Antarctic Peninsula. Embark on an unforgettable 11-day voyage and succumb to the enchantment of the breathtaking landscapes inhabited by astonishing wildlife.

The start of your cruise will be marked by the crossing of the mythical Drake Passage, during which you will probably be escorted by several albatrosses and Cape petrels, the sentinels of these often-choppy waters.

Your ship will then reach the White Continent, realm of the unexpected. Weather and ice conditions permitting, this extreme environment where nature reigns supreme will reveal to you its most beautiful secrets through numerous discoveries.

On this uninhabited land, which wasn’t explored until the 19th century, your encounters with the wildlife will no doubt be one of the highlights of your experience. The Gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins, humpback whales, seals and seabirds will provide you with cherished lifelong memories.

Each day, whether on land, aboard your ship or during a Zodiac® outing, you will be surrounded by a grandiose decor ranging from icebergs to ice floe and ancient glaciers.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Outings and shore visits in Zodiac®inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides.

• Lectures and information sessions hosted by our naturalist-guides, covering wildlife, history, geopolitics, the great explorers, climate, environmental protection…

• Hiking opportunity.

• Visiting research stations and former whaling stations.

• Landscapes: a multitude of drifting icebergs, ice floes, imposing glaciers and tall, snow-covered mountains.

• Wildlife: humpback whales, Gentoo penguins, Adelie penguins, chinstrap penguins, leopard seals, crabeater seals,

• Weddell seals and numerous sea birds.

• Educational discovery in the respect of environment

ITINERARY IN BRIEF

Day 1: Embark Ushuaia
Day 2 & 3: Entry Crossing the Drake Passage
Day 4: Antarctica Peninsula - Port Lockroy
Day 5: Antarctica Peninsula - Port Charcot
Day 6: Antarctica Peninsula - Neko & Paradise Bay
Day 7: Antarctica Peninsula - Weddell Sea
Day 8: Antarctica Peninsula - Deception & Half Moon Island
Day 9 & 10: Drake Passage
Day 11: Disembark Ushuaia

NOTE: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. The on-board expedition leader will determine the final itinerary. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.

This trip is also available on board the Le Lyrial and Le Boreal and L'Austral. Contact us for more details.

  • Ushuaia - Embark

    Embarkation from 17H00 to 18H00 . Departure at 19H00 .

    Capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province, Ushuaia is considered the gateway to the White Continent and the South Pole. Nicknamed “El fin del mundo” by the Argentinian people, this city at the end of the world nestles in the shelter of mountains surrounded by fertile plains that the wildlife seem to have chosen as the ultimate sanctuary. With its exceptional site, where the Andes plunge straight into the sea, Ushuaia is one of the most fascinating places on earth, its very name evocative of journeys to the unlikely and the inaccessible…

  • DRAKE PASSAGE

    Use your days spent in the Drake Passage to familiarise yourself with your ship and deepen your knowledge of the Antarctic. The Expedition Leader will first present the IAATO rules of conduct that must be observed during landings in the region and will explain everything you need to know about the Zodiac® outings.

  • DRAKE PASSAGE

    Lectures about the history and wildlife of the Antarctic will be an opportunity for you to learn more about this magical region, where every cruise is a unique experience. From the ship’s bridge, you will experience exceptional sailing moments before joining the naturalist-guides on your ship’s exterior decks to look out for albatrosses, cape petrels, and other seabirds flying over the Drake Passage.

  • ANTARCTICA PENINSULA - Port Lockroy

    On the small island of Goudier, we hope to have the opportunity to visit Port Lockroy, discovered by the French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot in 1903. Initially it served as a relief and repair base for whalers, but in 1944 Port Lockroy became a British base. It owes its name to Edouard Lockroy, a French politician and the partner of Jean-Baptiste Charcot during his expedition. You will be able to visit the small museum that retraces the life of the base in the 1950’s. Since 1996, it has been open to the public during the short Southern Summer and is used for carrying out research on gentoo penguins. Nowadays, this base is the most visited site of the White Continent and, thanks to its small store and post office, it is the only place to offer you the opportunity to write to your friends and family and share this unique moment.

  • ANTARCTICA PENINSULA - Port Charcot

    Lying at the southern end of the beautiful Lemaire Channel, we hope to visit Pleneau Island and then the 3km wide bay of Port Charcot that was charted by the 3rd French Antarctic expedition under Jean-Baptiste Charcot. Charcot established the expedition's winter base at Port Charcot in 1904.

  • ANTARCTICA PENINSULA - Neko & Paradise Bay

    Deep in Andvord Bay, we find this little corner of paradise at the foot of an immense glacier. Neko Bay is without doubt one of the most beautiful sights of the Antarctic Peninsula. Wildlife is as abundant as it is exceptional with sea birds such as gulls, Cape petrels and cormorants, as well as marine mammals such as seals, orcas and whales. Excursions aboard our Zodiacs allow you to sail close to blue-tinged icebergs or disembark near colonies of penguins, observe leopard seals basking on the shore or watch the Antarctic terns flying overhead.

    Paradise Bay (or Paradise Harbour as it is also known) is surrounded and protected by glaciated mountains and ice cliffs. It is a stunningly beautiful wide bay and natural harbour, home to a colony of gentoo penguins, with Argentina's “Almirante Brown Antarctic Base” standing on its coast.

  • ANTARCTICA PENINSULA - Weddell Sea

    The ship continues sailing into the Weddell Sea, a rarely visited, heavily iced and beautiful area of Antarctica on the south-east side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Sailing in the Weddell Sea will allow you to experience true silence, an extraordinary and enchanting atmosphere and unrivalled calm. You will discover fur seals, penguin colonies, wandering albatross and other giant petrels. Here the huge icebergs and the endless ice cap sculpt a landscape that words cannot describe. The lord of the manor is known as the Weddell seal. It is a record breaker, able to remain submerged for more than an hour. Its pelage is dark grey and it has a spotted belly. To maintain its access to the sea and be able to fish, the Weddell seal has special teeth allowing it to make a hole in the thick ice.

  • ANTARCTICA PENINSULA - Deception & Half Moon Island

    Weather permitting, we will sail into the flooded volcanic caldera of Deception Island for its rugged scenery, great sites of geological interest and the remains of an old whaling station. Deception Island is the largest of three recent volcanic centres in the South Shetlands and sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing.

    Nestled at the heart of the South Shetland Islands, in the north of the Antarctic Peninsula, Deception Island is easy to recognise for its horseshoe shape. On the black sand of the volcanic beaches, there are remains of abandoned huts that have been overrun by the extraordinary wildlife found here. It is on these ash beaches that the largest colony of chinstrap penguins in the Antarctic Peninsula has taken up residence. Excursions aboard our Zodiacs will allow you to set foot on this expanse of land where more than 100,000 pairs of penguins, elephant seals and fur seals live side by side.

    Half Moon Island, another possible landing site is home to chinstrap penguins in spectacular surroundings. Only 2kms long, the island boasts dramatic rock formations. Whales are often spotted patrolling the shores.

  • DRAKE PASSAGE

    If there is one place, one sea, one waterway dreaded by tourists, researchers and hardened seafarers alike, it is undoubtedly Drake Passage. Situated at the latitude of the infamous Furious Fifties winds, between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands, it is the shortest route to connect Antarctica to South America. Seasoned navigators will tell you that you must earn your visit to the White Continent! As the Antarctic convergence zone where cold currents rising up from the South Pole meet warmer equatorial water masses, Drake Passage harbours a very diverse marine fauna. Don't forget to look to the sky to catch a glimpse of elegant albatross and Cape petrels, playfully floating about in the wind around your ship.

  • DRAKE PASSAGE

    Crossing the Drake

  • Disembark - Ushuaia

    Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. It’s now time to disembark in Ushuaia, but with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Length: 466 ft
  • Beam: 59 ft
  • Draft: 15.3 ft
  • Cruising speed: 14 knots
  • Ice class: 1 C
  • Classification: Bureau Veritas
  • Flag: French
  • Guest decks: 6
  • Guest capacity (double occupancy): Up to 264 PAX
  • Normal crew size: 140
  • A fleet of expedition Zodiac®: (Mark V HD)
  • Gross tonnage: 10 992 UMS
  • Electric motors: 2 x 2300 KW
  • Installed power: 7200 KW
  • Construction: Fincantieri-Ancône-Italy

 

SHIP AMENITIES

  • Main lounge 255 square metres. Includes dance floor and cocktail bar and access to the outside terrace.
  • Panoramic Lounge 110 square metres.  Includes library, cocktail bar, live entertainment and access to the panoramic terrace.
  • Open-air Bar overlooking the pool deck.
  • Gastronomic Restaurant in the elegant main dining room for breakfast, lunch and dinner serving french and international cuisine. Also has a fine wine cellar.
  • Grill restaurant for casual eating for breakfast, buffet lunch and themed dinner.

Well-being Centre

Le Soleal has an onboard spa. Equipped with massage booths, hammam, a hair salon and fitness room that has panoramic ocean views.

Pool & Sun Deck

The spacious, comfortable outdoor areas of our ships offer superb ocean panoramas.

Lounges & Bars

Different lounges enable guests to socialise and share convivial moments during their cruise. The main lounge, an ideal place to meet over a drink and watch daytime or evening events; the panoramic lounge, an intimate piano-bar with a unique view of the horizon; and the outdoor bar, an atmospheric spot that has access to the pool and solarium..

Leisure Areas

A choice of books and board games is available for you on board all our ships. The library on Deck 6 is also equipped with computers with Wi-Fi.

 

CABINS DETAILS:

The Owner’s suite

The Owner’s suite on Le Soleal is situated on Deck 6. It has been decorated by Franch interior designers and will provide you with a breathtakting panoramic sea view. The suite features: individually-controlled air-conditioning, king-size bed or twin beds. en-suite facilities, mini-bar, flatscreen satellite television, desk with stationary, ipod players, video on demand, safe, haridryer, bathrobes, satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, wifi internet access. The suite is 45 square metres.

The Prestige Suite– Deck  5 – 6

The Prestige Suite on Le Soleal can sleep up to 4 passengers. The suite features: a private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, king-size bed or twin beds. en-suite facilities, mini-bar, flatscreen satellite television, desk with stationary, ipod players, video on demand, safe, haridryer, bathrobes, satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, wifi internet access. It is 37 square metres.

The Deluxe Suite

The Deluxe Suite on Le Soleal can sleep up to 2 passengers. The suite features: a private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, king-size bed or twin beds. en-suite facilities, mini-bar, flatscreen satellite television, desk with stationary, ipod players, video on demand, safe, haridryer, bathrobes, satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, wifi internet access. It is 27 square metres.

The Prestige Stateroom Deck 4 – 5 – 6

The Prestige Stateroom on Le Soleal can sleep up to 2 passengers. The cabin features: a private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, king-size bed or twin beds. en-suite facilities, mini-bar, flatscreen satellite television, desk with stationary, ipod players, video on demand, safe, haridryer, bathrobes, satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, wifi internet access. It is 18 square metres.

The Deluxe Stateroom 

The Deluxe Stateroom on Le Soleal can sleep up to 2 passengers per cabin. The room features: a private balcony, individually-controlled air-conditioning, king-size bed or twin beds. en-suite facilities, mini-bar, flatscreen satellite television, desk with stationary, ipod players, video on demand, safe, haridryer, bathrobes, satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, wifi internet access. It is 18 square metres.

The Superior Stateroom

The Superior Stateroom on Le Soleal can sleep up to 3 passengers per cabin. The room features: individually-controlled air-conditioning, king-size bed or twin beds. en-suite facilities, mini-bar, flatscreen satellite television, desk with stationary, ipod players, video on demand, safe, haridryer, bathrobes, satellite direct line telephone, 110/220 volts outlet, French bath products, 24hr room service, wifi internet access. It is 21 square metres.

 

DECKPLAN

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Accommodation in suites or staterooms with en-suite
  • All meals while on the cruise. Continental breakfast, buffet breakfast, buffet lunch, afternoon tea, a three-course dinner and a late-evening snack are served daily.
  • Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner
  • Open Bar – A wide choice of refreshments such as wine, beer, cocktails, fruit juices and aperitifs are served in each bar and with lunch and dinner. This does not include premium alcoholic drinks. List available upon request.
  • Mini Bar – the mini bar in your cabin is restocked every day and in included in the fare.
  • Complimentary Parka to keep.
  • Waterproof rubber boots to loan for duration of cruise.
  • Highly experienced bilingual (French-English) Expedition team
  • Excursions with expedition guides – Zodiac, land and sea tours and shore-side activities
  • Complimentary wifi on board – Please note the wifi may be slow due to a satellite connection and the remote areas you will be visiting.
  • Evening entertainment and events
  • Luggage transfer from pier to the ship and vice versa
  • Room service 24h (special selection)

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

  • International flights
  • Domestic flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for the local guide
  • Personal expenses
  • Arrival/departure taxes or reciprocity fees, visa fees where applicable
  • Other meals and services not mentioned in the programme

NOTES:

  • This trip is also available on board the Le Lyrial and Le Boreal and L’Austral. Contact us for more details
  • Voyages are subject to ice and weather conditions. The itineraries described for expedition voyages illustrate possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed.
  • Water sports activities (except scuba diving) are included in the tour price, using the ship’s equipment, when permitted by local authorities and confirmed by shipmaster according to safety and sea conditions on-site
  • Passenger numbers are limited to 200 for Antarctic voyages.

  • LATIN AMERICA EXPERTISE
  • YOUR OWN TRAVEL SPECIALIST
  • EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR HOLIDAY COVERED
  • A LOVELY PERSONALIZED ITINERARY
  • A 24 HOUR EMERGENCY CONTACT
  • WE RESEARCH EVERY OPTION